Are We Talking About The Same People?

One of the highlights of the year is our church picnic, which was this past Sunday.

It was wonderful to see folks fellowshipping and reaching out to new people, to see guys laboring over a smoky grill cooking burgers and dogs, to see young people painting children’s faces and playing kickball with them.  I was reminded of Psalm 16:8:

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent (or majestic*) ones, in whom is all my delight. (ESV)

It’s amazing that God calls his children the “excellent” or “majestic” ones. Often I don’t feel particularly majestic.  I picture Jesus pointing me out to Gabriel saying, “Look, Gabriel, there’s one of my majestic ones,” then I hear the angel say, “Who, him?  Look at him nodding off in his devotions.  And wait till he sees the dent his son put in his car.  Then you’ll really see how majestic he is.”

Sometimes our brothers and sisters don’t appear so excellent to us.  Look around any church and you’ll find a motley collection of “majestic ones” struggling with a whole potpourri of sins and weaknesses. Like the new believer you spend three hours trying to encourage, who leaves you singing the “Halleluiah Chorus,” only to call you 3 hours later from the pit of despair.  Or the son of Eeyore who whines that there’s no love in the church after 45 people helped him move last week.  God calls them “excellent ones” – yes, we’re talking about the same people.

Not only does God declare believers to be his excellent ones, but the ones “in whom is all [his] delight.”

God sees us as excellent and delightful because he redeemed us with Christ’s blood, clothed us with Christ’s righteousness and is transforming us by his Spirit into Christ’s likeness.  And since the Father’s delight is in his Son, he now delights in his children who are one with that Son.

If God sees his children in this way, then I need to as well.  If God so delights in the saints, then so should I.  May I never view a brother as a bother.  If the saints are delightful, I should long to fellowship with them, serve them, and give my life for them.

*NASB

Photo by www.markandluke.org.uk

  • http://www.photosandquotes.blogspot.com YellerDaisies

    “God sees us as excellent and delightful because he redeemed us with Christ’s blood, clothed us with Christ’s righteousness and is transforming us by his Spirit into Christ’s likeness. And since the Father’s delight is in his Son, he now delights in his children who are one with that Son.”

    What a great reminder, thank you! I often focus on “what’s wrong” with someone instead of focusing how God views them. I focus on what is “getting on my nerves”, not that the Savior died for them and they are the apple of my Father’s eye.

  • http://www.asacrificeofpraise.wordpress.com Emily

    *sigh*

    and i thought “yeller” always thought the best of me … now i know the truth! ;)

    thanks! once again, very helpful. its great to be reminded that God delights in us. this is helpful for me as I’m working not to judge others.

    if God sees them through Christ’s blood and chooses to delight in them, then I can through that same power, choose to think the best.

    Thanks.

  • http://worshipfulreader.blogspot.com Ron Reffett

    Hey Man!
    I am still amazed and awe struck that when God looks at me he sees Christ,in my self I am sinful through and through, but in Christ as Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
    So, I have absolutely nothing at all to do with being placed in union with Christ, it’s entirely of God!

    It truly is amazing that God views us as his majestic ones because of who we are in Jesus! I still sometimes just cannot get my head around that! especially when I’m not feeling all that “majestic”!
    Thanks for this great reminder that it’s really not about how we feel but it’s about the awesome truth of the gospel!

    Blessings

    Ron Reffett

  • http://racheldulaney.blogspot.com Rachel Dulaney

    It’s all about a heavenly perspective isn’t it? It’s about thinking about things the way God would, doing things the way God would, worshipping God the way God would, looking at things through Heaven’s eyes (in the words of the song from Prince of Egypt!)

    One of Jonathan Edward’s resolutions especially points to this:
    Resolved, to live so, at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world. (“clearest notions of another world”)

    To live as we think is best when we have the clearest notions of another world. The Heavenly perspective is to pervade and manifest itself in everything we do!

  • http://www.theblazingcenter.com Mark Altrogge

    Thanks Yeller,

    Somehow Paul got this down – he could focus first on God’s grace in the Corinthians rather than what was wrong with them.

    Emily,

    You’re right – we should choose to think the best of our brothers and sisters!

    Yeah Ron,

    Isn’t it amazing? I have to daily seek to exercise faith to believe these things.

    Rachel,

    Great comments – That’s what faith is all about – seeing with a heavenly perspective. Thanks

  • Mark@DR

    Hi Mark,

    I’m a bit surprised a fellow Canadian of mine like Tim C. hasn’t commented on your spelling of the venerable storybook character of Eeyore, so here goes…is that (Eyore) how they spell it south of the border?

    Mark@DR

    P.S. You can’t really be faulted for misspelling it when Eeyore spells his own name ‘eoR.’

  • http://www.theblazingcenter.com Mark Altrogge

    Mark,

    You’re right – I checked it out and there are 2 “e”s – I’ll fix it. Thanks for pointing that out. Glad my Canadian brothers have my back!

  • http://www.lifeinreturn.com Jenn

    Wow…

    It’s amazing that God calls his children the “excellent” or “majestic” ones. Often I don’t feel particularly majestic. I picture Jesus pointing me out to Gabriel saying, “Look, Gabriel, there’s one of my majestic ones,” then I hear the angel say, “Who, him? Look at him nodding off in his devotions. And wait till he sees the dent his son put in his car. Then you’ll really see how majestic he is.”

    Induces happy tears and a grateful heart and awe at His mercy and grace in the lives of such sinners!